The biological flux and lifetime of methanol in anoxic marine sediments are largely unknown. We herein reported, for the first time, quantitative methanol removal rates in subsurface sediments. Anaerobic incubation experiments with radiotracers showed high rates of microbial methanol consumption. Notably, methanol oxidation to CO2 surpassed methanol assimilation and methanogenesis from CO2/H2 and methanol. Nevertheless, a significant decrease in methanol was not observed after the incubation, and this was attributed to the microbial production of methanol in parallel with its consumption. These results suggest that microbial reactions play an important role in the sources and sinks of methanol in subseafloor sediments.
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